To fix or not to fix?

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I've got a 1990 Toyota Cressida with about 190k miles on it. The transmission recently died and I can't really afford to repair it.

A mechanic offered me $200 for the parts, but I'm thinking I can get more than that selling it privately. Keep in mind though that it's in pretty bad shape. Torn apolstery, stained carpet, sunroof and one of the power windows don't work.

So, I guess my question is, would I be able to get significantly more for it if I had the transmission fixed and then sold it as opposed to selling it without the transmission, and just knocking the quote ($960) off the price? Obviously I would only want to have the transmission fixed beforehand if I could make significantly more on it, since that involves putting money down up front.

Further, if I did have the transmission repaired for $960+tax, would I be able to sell it for enough to make more than the $200 I was offered for it?


posted by  FreeBaGeL

why dont you just go and get a tranny from a scrap yard and fit it, shoudlnt cost you very much and you will get a 3 months warenty on it.

posted by  cinqyg

i'de just take the $200 and scrap the car your lucky he offered you $200

posted by  93TaurusOwner

My advice is to check how much the parts are going on ebay and if there is a good demand. If there is then I would recommend you take the car apart yourself and sell the parts. Also check if someone wants the car as a whole. If I had a similar car I wouldn't mind paying something around $500 to keep for spare parts. The car should be worth more than $200 if the headlights, mirrors, and engine is in good shape. You can make good money by just selling the sensors on the car.

posted by  ZMan3000

So I'm guessing you all think that getting the tranny repaired for $1000 and then trying to sell the car wouldn't net me more profit?

posted by  FreeBaGeL

Gee, do ya think? Let's do the math. A shitty old Cresida with almost 200k on it is worth about $250 on a good day. So is it worth putting a grand into it so you can sell it for maybe $400? If you can't figure that out I bet you can get a job writing policy for the Democratic National Committee.

posted by  vwhobo

No need to be a snob about it. The blue book value for a '90 Cressida in fair condition (2nd worst condition) with 190k miles on it is $2,250. So it's hardly obvious that it would only be worth around $400 if that's the case..

posted by  FreeBaGeL

Never go by the book value. Go by the demand. If you life in a rich town and there is no demand for use cars then you probably won't get much. If you live in a average town then you may get maybe half of book value or less since its a old car. Honestly most people don't want to spend too much on a old car. I would say even if you get your trans fixed you probably get around $800-950 if the book value you stated is correct. No dealers will buy the car above 80K miles and plus dealer always give below book value.

As I said before go on ebay and see if how much the car goes for on ebay. This will show if there is good demand for the car. Also see if people bid on parts for 1990 Cressida.

Note: Just make sure where the car was located when looking at the auction. You might not obtain the same results depending on location.

posted by  ZMan3000

You call it being a snob, I call it being realistic. I just checked KBB and your car is worth $745 in drivable condition. In the real world if you can find a sucker to give you $200, take the money and run.

Oh, wait a minute. This is probably the first dealings you've ever had trying to move a car. I've only been doing it for... hmmm... 30 some years. I see the light now, you have more experience than me. Put the new trans in and repaint it while you're at it. You got a real money maker there bud. You go boy.

posted by  vwhobo

vwhobo: Care to link me as to where you see it as $745 on Kelley Bluebook?

Here's where it shows it as $2200 to me. Keep in mind this is with it being rated as "fair" condition. When I choose the "Rate it" option and enter all the detailed information it puts it in the "Good" category and rates it as $2750, but I did it in fair just to be safe.;768846;FL001&32608;sed+p&722;T oyota;1990%20Cressida&16;TO;C1&&&

Yes, this is my first experience moving a car. You've been doing it 30 years. Congratulations. No need to come out of the gates being a complete a-hole about it. I'm sure you know more about it than I do, that's why I'm freaking here asking the question.

No, I don't know much about it. I'm a college student starting up who's dad recently passed away trying to get some extra cash out of what's left of my car to help keep my family afloat until my mother can find a job (her and my dad owned a local photography business before he passed). So yes, I'm very new to the world of selling cars. I'm here to gather information. There are much easier ways to pass the information along than the way you did.

Sure, you've been doing this for 30 some odd years. As I said above, that's why I'm here, to get the opinions of people that know more about this than me (if I already knew the answer I wouldn't bother asking). But personally, I'll pass on the opinion of an arrogant snob that blasts people he's never even talked to before because something that may be obvious to someone that's been in the field for 30 years isn't so obvious to someone that's never had any experience with it before.

Zman: Ebay doesn't have much in the way of Cressida's. There's on up with 3 days left that has a starting bid of $2000, but there are no bids on it as of yet. I live in Gainesville, Fl, a college town so there is a relatively high demand for used cars.

posted by  FreeBaGeL

I'm sorry to hear about your family situation. There's nothing worse than losing someone you love, especially a parent. My dad died exactly 17 years ago today. Please accept my condolences.


No, I can't link you to KBB because the site sets cookies and will only re-open the search on the same computer it was originally searched on. But I can tell you how you're searching. You're looking at retail price. Retail price is an unrealistically high number for most cars. Furthermore if you read the fine print it includes stealership overhead, repairs, etc. You don't qualify. Additionally a Cressida in most parts of the country is simply not a seller. Did I say in a previous post that the only thing it has going for it is the fact it's a Toyota? Beyond that it has no name recognition. People who are looking for a car of that type and age are looking for the name Accord, Camry and even Taurus.

The point here is that yes, you might under the right circumstances get $2200 for the car but at what cost. Right now it's worth $200 and you might be able to squeeze the guy for a bit more. On the other hand you can dump another $1000+ into it with the HOPES of MAYBE adding a couple of hundred bucks to the bottom line. Don't forget to add in your time and effort to do these things because after all time is money. You'd be better off to take your money to Vegas to try and multiply it. It'd be more fun too.

posted by  vwhobo

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